31 December 2007

Boredom is the Mother of Creativity...or something like that

Day 9 of Christmas vacation, on the fourth day of rain:

"Look, Mama! That's me and Max playing! See, I put a hat on one so it looks like me, and we're playing with blocks. Can I eat two Hershey's kisses so it looks like we ate them? Papa! I have something to show you but you have to close your eyes! Hey, what can I use to make them look like they have legs?"

[side note to Aunt Wendy: She's wearing the outfit you got her for the third time in less than a week. I guess she likes it.]

26 December 2007

December at our House

Busy, busy, busy, as I'm sure everyone else was. Here are a few pictures of our Christmas.

We got to a few Christmas markets in early December. The one in Kaiserslautern is just the right size for an afternoon.

Last week was Katrina's holiday program/party at school. The kids sang about 10 songs, then decorated gingerbread houses.

And then, there was Christmas morning in our jammies and Christmas afternoon in our, um, safety goggles.

School doesn't start back up until January 7. This morning, I scheduled one playdate for Friday, and later today or tomorrow morning, I'll try to line up a few more. I like that we decided on just relaxing at home for a bit, instead of another trip, but Katrina needs social interaction like we need air. Thank goodness a number of her friends are also staying close to home for Christmas. Enough for a different friend to come over probably every day until school starts up. Maybe we can be the ones to give some parents a break...especially the moms with deployed husbands. But it's not really altruistic; parents of only children know that in some cases, taking care of two kids CAN be easier than taking care of one. Let the playdates begin!

14 December 2007

04 December 2007

Puppy Love

Katrina has marriage plans. She's going to marry Max. This year, that is. Since she entered preschool at age three, her groom has changed each year. When she was three, a dashing older man named Josh (age 5) introduced the concept of a long, loooong engagement. All the little ones were paired off within the first few months of school, apparently. The teachers were a bit mystified. Tragically, the engagement was broken when the groom-to-be moved at the end of the year.

Last year, an engaging young towhead captured Katrina's affections. The friendship was mutual, if rocky at times. When they first met, Michael was a sweet and mild-mannered little boy who's chief quality (other than his undeniable cuteness) was that he would do anything Katrina asked him to. Alas, over the course of about nine months, he started standing up to Katrina. Their relationship had ups and downs...clashing games of "let's pretend" ("I want to be a princess!" "I want to play superheroes!" "WAAAAAH!"); moments of absolute agreement ("We don't WANT to leave the playground!"); and the always fractious relationship between the girlfriend and her boyfriend's other friends ("I don't like Aidan. He bosses Michael around." Too bad irony is lost on four-year-olds.). And then, just as her relationship with Michael grew distant (they were preparing to move)...

Luke entered the picture. An energetic Star Wars fan with black hair and gorgeous brown eyes, Luke was Katrina's foil in numerous Star Wars games. For awhile, Katrina's after school posse of Luke, Ben, and Michael spent a half-hour or so running wildly around outside the school. Katrina was always Princess Leia, and the boys took on various good guy or bad guy roles. This year, Luke moved on to a different kindergarten. He's still around, and before Thanksgiving, the two had a playdate. In which their chief occupation was nagging me to let them play Lego Star Wars on the Xbox. (Me: "But you haven't seen each other in a month! Why don't you play together for a while before I turn on the TV?" Them: "Is it time yet? Can we play Lego Star Wars now? How about now?") But by switching schools, Luke has lost his place in the hierarchy of Katrina's affections.

Now, it is all about Max. The son of one of my husband's co-workers and now a classmate of Katrina's, Max and his parents have become good friends and sometime traveling companions. In fact, while we were discussing potential travel plans for the Thanksgiving break, Katrina interjected with, "Where's Max going? I want to go with Max?" And so we did.

That lengthy history is just an prequel to the true purpose of this post, which is to post a short pictorial series entitled: "Puppy Love, or the Love/Hate Relationship of Two Only Children at Age Five." [Confidential to my brother: No claims are made as to the quality of these snapshots, or of the eyes open or closed. :) ]

Not to worry, though...a little rest and some German cartoons on the hotel TV can do wonders.